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Obama urges Senate passage of equal pay bill

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 (2012 AP)

President Barack Obama is calling on the Senate to pass legislation that aims to assist women to earn the same pay as men. The bill is not expected to win the support it needs to advance.

Obama says in a teleconference with advocates of the legislation that if Congress passes the bill, women would have access to more tools to claim equal pay for equal work. He says women now earn on average 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man.

Republicans say the legislation would place unnecessary burdens on businesses.

Under the bill, firms would have to show that differences in wages are not based on gender. It also would ban retaliation against employees who reveal their own wages or seek information about wage practices by their employers.